Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers beat Southaven Mayor Greg Davis by 8 percentage points to win the House seat in Mississippi's 1st Congressional District, The Washington Post said Wednesday.
Childers, a conservative Democrat whose platform focused on gun rights and right-to-life issues, defeated Davis' strategy of tying the clerk to the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.
Democratic leaders said the result suggests they will do well in the November presidential general election. It was the third loss for Republicans in the South in elections this spring.
"No one could have imagined the tsunami that just crashed on Republicans in Mississippi," said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.
Republican leaders rang alarm bells on Capitol Hill saying the defeat points to the need for a focused strategy as the election cycle winds down.
"The political environment is such that voters remain pessimistic about the direction of the country and the Republican Party in general … Time is short," Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said.